Ghostly Granola Goodies for Halloween

Halloween and half term holidays are just around the corner.  We love to get outdoors as much as possible but let’s face it there can be some rainy days and you need some indoor entertainment!   Why not try out some of these healthy granola Halloween snacks using Just Live a Little granola that kids will love and adults will also find delicious.

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This Years Lunch Box Essential

It’s that time of year again… back to school! If you are anything like me the summer seems to fly by and it is back to school before we know it.  We have had a great summer but now it is time to get back to the books. 

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How we fuel hungry office staff around the UK!

Mid-way through 2016 we started supplying Office Pantry (https://www.officepantry.co.uk/) with our superflapjack bars and thought this is as good a time as any to talk about why we do so.

As you know, we want everyone to have fun and eat well.

Now the place where we all actually spend the majority of our time is at work, at the office.  So if we can deliver some happiness to you at work then we’ll have done right, and help to put a smile on your face.

That’s why we supply Office Pantry.

Office Pantry helps deliver healthy snacks to companies right across the UK – with their packs being tailor made to the offices they deliver to. Great bosses provide the snacks, including our superflapjack bars (https://www.officepantry.co.uk/just-live-a-little-snackbars-and-granola), to their staff, making everyone happier.

We’re also proud to say we passed the 3 Office Pantry tests.

Those being:

1.       Everything must be made in the UK

2.      Everything must be grandmother approved

3.       Everything must taste damned good

Taking those in order:

1) We make everything here at our home in Portaferry – made in the UK.

2) So the “grandmother test” means all the ingredients in the Office Pantry snacks must contain wholesome, real ingredients. In fact, the ingredients must be approved by a grandmother – if she can hold and touch the ingredients in raw form, and make a meal out of them for her favourite grandchildren, then it passes the Office Pantry.

We passed this with flying colours as we do just that – we use real ingredients to make real food and help you eat well

3) The fact our bars taste “damned good” goes without saying doesn’t it!

So there we go, we’ve known the founders Charles (on the right) and Giles for nearly a year now, and we’d encourage all of you to nudge your boss and point him or her towards this page à https://www.officepantry.co.uk/office-snacks-delivered

This way we can all have fun and eat well at work!

 

Fun Summer Granola Recipes

When the kids are off school and the weather is maybe not what we were expecting how about making some fun granola recipes.....

Todays is from Bakers Royale.

This recipe works best with Just Live a Little Oatyberry granola.

Its so simple and the kids love it!

Ingredients:

  • 100g Strawberries
  • 100g raspberries
  • 100g blueberries
  • 1 large tub of Greek yogurt
  • 85gmilk
  • 85g honey
  • 170g Just Live a Little Oatyberry granola

Method:

In a medium size pan on a medium heat combine and cook the strawberries and raspberries until simmering.  Cook for 10-12 mins stirring often.  Once the mixture is thickening take it off the heat and cool to room temperature.  Repeat with the blueberries.

Combine the mix with the yogurt, milk and honey it should be a thick mix but not pourable.

To assemble

Pour a tablespoon of yogurt into each mould and a tablespoon of Just Live a Little oatyberry granola and a tablespoon of jam.  continue layering until the moulds are filled.  Tap the mould against the counter to release any air bubbles.  Insert the ice lolly stick and freeze for at least 6 hours,

That's it enjoy!

Jill x

 

 

Food Shows.....

Just Live a Little is just back from a four day food show in Alimentaria in Barcelona.  One of the largest shows in Europe.  It was enormous had six halls and would have taken a month to visit all the halls and all the stands.

There really is no way to prepare yourself for participating in a show this size in another country, preparing for childcare and flights and accommodation the stand the stock the leaflets.  If there is an easy way to prepare let me know as I felt I was organising a mission to Mars.

Being at a food show in Barcelona is way more glamorous than it sounds. It is a huge exhibition hall where you do not see the light of day for ten hours and no matter what shoes you bring they are the wrong ones as they don't actually make suitable shoes for this amount of standing.

Some of the great things about these shows is the camaraderie.  Everyone around you in the exhibition hall becomes like your best friend.  We all feed each other encourage each other and go out to eat together and make sure everyone gets home safe.  Its a cocoon from the real world its "show world"

One of the most exciting things is the people you meet.  At our stand we met retailers, distributors, online retailers from all over the world including Russia and Guatemala, Costa Rica, Spain, Italy, Israel, America, Africa.

It is great to leave our little world in Portaferry and meet so many great contacts.  it is also great to be home and sitting down.  I will keep you posted on which country you will find Just Live a Little next.

Alimentaria.jpg

 

Jill x

Gluten Free Granola is here!

 I am so excited to launch our new Triple Nut Gluten Free Granola.

We are always been told one of the things people miss most about going Gluten Free is delicious Granola for breakfast. Now you won't have to.

Oats do not in themselves contain gluten (I know lots of people didn't know this)  but often they can be contaminated. So we are delighted to be making our new Triple Nut Granola with gluten free oats. Oats that were grown and processed in such a way that they never came into contact with wheat.

Our recipe packs a serious punch of healthy fats and nuts Almonds, Cashews and Pecans. They will seriously make your taste buds buzz!

Let us know what you think and I will keep you updated on where to buy.

Jill x

 

Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016

As a lot of you will know Northern Ireland is renowned for the reputation of its local producers and traditional crafts such as distilling, butchery and bakery, each has a long and proud history in NI. Our food producers are shining on the world stage with hundreds of Great Taste Award winners including Hannan Meats, Broighter Gold and Abernethy Butter. The strength of our local produce has made an impact on the food experience visitors can expect in our restaurants, hotels, visitor attractions, cafes, pubs and cookery schools.

Well this year, we are celebrating the great local produce that comes from Northern Ireland.  The Year of Food and Drink 2016 is a celebration of everything delicious about this place, as well as its epic landscapes, traditions and people that make our food heritage so unique. With 366 days of foodie experiences, there’s no better time for you to enjoy a true taste of Northern Ireland.

We kick off the year with Breakfast Month, we have teamed up with our friends at Suki Tea to give away a delicious Breakfast Hamper of award winning loose leaf breakfast tea and super-tasty handmade granola, the perfect healthy breakfast combo of Northern Ireland produce! For your chance to win this exclusive hamper of Breakfast goodies simply go over to our facebook page The Competition runs until midnight Monday 25th Jan 2016.

To keep up to date with what’s happening in Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink visit discovernorthernireland.com or join the conversation online using #Enjoy2016

We are really looking forward to May and have some exciting things planned for September.

Good luck with the competition

Jill

Happy New Year

Sorry we are a bit late....better late than never, Happy New Year!

 Life here at Just Live a Little was hectic in the run up to Christmas. We finally finished up on Christmas Eve at about 4pm when our last order was collected to go to China from Derry Farm Portaferry to Dairy Farm Hong Kong.

In the past few months we have been working on lots of other exciting projects including working with Foodist in Germany.  Check out their website https://foodist.de/  and see our new no added refined sugar in their January box.

We are also delighted to be working with a young and exciting company in Taiwan.  Called morning shop.  http://www.morningshop.tw/item/201510AM220010883 The company focuses on breakfast products so this is just perfect for us!

We had a lovely week off….enjoying lots of lovely food wine and picnicking in the rain! !

Now we are back in full swing and ready to take on 2016!  This is such an exciting time for Northern Ireland food and drink producers as we begin the Year of food and drink.  It’s only right January is Breakfast month.  So we will be out and about locally tasting our delicious granola.  Also listen out for our radio advert on U105 and If you have a chance checkout our Facebook video. https://www.facebook.com/U105NI/videos/10153901099328746/

I hope you are having a great start to 2016.

Keep sending us all your feedback we love to hear from you.

Happy 2016

Jill x

Playlist and Recipe Development

We have been busy here developing new recipes.  Recipe development is double the fun with a great playlist.  So we decided to share what we have been playing behind the scenes while we have been developing our fabulous new granola bar.  Not long now until we can reveal the flavour but trust me its delicious. In the meantime enjoy the eclectic mix.

http://www.deezer.com/playlist/1374137705?utm_source=deezer&utm_content=playlist-1374137705&utm_term=695875031_1444569350&utm_medium=web

Tracklist

  • Morcheeba - Otherwise
  • Sure Thing - St Germain
  • Rafiki - Zap mama
  • Miss you (Remastered) - The Rolling Stones
  • Pools - Glass Animals
  • Samba de mon Coeur qui bat - Coralie Clement
  • Omen- disclosure
  • Royals - Lorde
  • Happy endings -Faul
  • Halo - Ane Brun
  • You're the one I want - Lo fang
  • All is not harmed - Ben Howard
  • Barcelona - George Ezra

 

 

Back to School

If you are like me the end of August and the return to school is bittersweet.  During the rainy days of mid July I was more than ready for back to school but now that it is actually here I am mourning the carefree days of Summer.

Despite the rain (did I mention we had a very wet summer!) we had a great time. Here are my top 5 memories of summer.

1 - We realised pretty quickly the weather was going to be rubbish and invested in wetsuits.  We have spend many fun evenings on the beach in Knockinelder body boarding and paddling and enjoying having the beach to ourselves.  Mya defiantly has the potential to be a surfer.

2 - A fabulous road trip to Kinsale in Cork.  We managed 3 entire days with no rain (yes back to the rain!) and enjoyed sailing, swimming and eating oh my was there eating!

3 -Every year for Ollie's birthday we have our annual trip to Portrush and to Barry's amusements.  I love the kids rides but they don't need me anymore but they did take sympathy on me and invite me on my favourite water turtle.

4- A sneaky night away with David to Bellinter house wwwbelinterhouse.com.  This is where we went on honeymoon and I highly recommend it without children!

5- Finally in preparation for Autumn we took Ollie and Mya to their first rugby match on Friday night. Ulster V Leinster, Ok so Ulster lost but we have two new Superfans...come on Ulster!!

All good things must come to an end and Autumn is coming.

Every year I promise I am going to be organised for school and I do start offwell as I pick up trousers and skirts at the end of June and put them in the back of the wardrobe and give myself a pat on the back.  Then its the week before school starts and I put off getting out uniforms from the wardrobe looking to hold onto that holiday feeling for as long as possible. Finally Ollie will ask where are my new school shoes...what new school shoes? Is it just me? On a positive note I am always organised for breaktime.....granola bars all round!

I hope everyone had a lovely summer, let me know what your highlights were oh and good luck for the school run.

Jill x

 

 

Weekend Fun

This weekend we will mainly splashing about in the Irish Sea. The Northern Ireland summer has been elusive and this may be as good as it gets!  So get out there and Just Live a Little

Top five things to do with Kids in and around Portaferry

1 - Knockinelder Beach - almost guaranteed to have it to yourself even on the sunniest of days!

2 -Kearney Village - National Trust Village a perfect picnic spot.

3-Portaferry Sailing Club - A great value spot for a pub lunch open to non members with spectacular lough views and a great menu.

4- Portaferry-Strangford Ferry - A speedy and fun way to cross to Strangford before heading to...

5 - Mount Stewart - Mount Stewart is one of the most inspiring and unusual properties in the National Trust's ownership and offers unique kids only activities.

Have a great weekend.

Jill x

 

An Average Week at Just Live a Little...

I thought it might be nice to give you an idea what an average week was like here at Just Live a Little (I know that’s funny as there is no such thing as an average week)

One of the great things about running Just Live a Little is there is never two days the same.  We are always planning one thing when something else exciting happens that throws our days into disarray.

  • Monday was spend out on the road doing deliveries to some of our food service customers and catching up on e-mails until an emergency order for portion pots came in and let’s just say it was a late night. 
  • Tuesday was spend in the office and mostly feeling emotional as my little brother Mark went off to Australia.  He is defiantly got the Just Live a Little bug as he moves down under for the year…let’s just say there were tears.
  • Wednesday I was up at 4am and off to London to meet with the Collective Dairy to discuss a possible collaboration.  It was lots of fun tasting their amazing flavours…Russian fudge is still my ultimate favourite and David is looking forward to developing some granola combinations to go with their amazing Straight Up!

In the afternoon I met with an organisation looking to work with companies like ours to provide mentoring and support.  It was great to share some ideas and get excited about Just Live a Little’s future plans.

Jenny was out on the road on Wednesday for the first time all by herself and she did amazing, let me know if you have had the chance to meet her.

Wednesday also was the first day David baked in the new conveyor roaster oven.  (You have no idea how excited he was about this.) 

  • Thursday was spend catching up on e-mails and then an emergency delivery with David as he had way over estimated how much he could fit into the Mokka, so my little Fiat 500 was called into action with 50 boxes of our yummy yogurtberry bars squeezed in the back. 
  • Friday I am having a kid’s day with a few deliveries thrown in.  Mya is having her first friend over for a sleep over…so that should be relaxing, but great fun!

Did I mention I have also started working out with a great Personal trainer, who is fabulous but I am not going to lie I can hardly move the next day, which doesn’t help with late night granola packing!

Oh and we also fitted in a trip to see Disney's Inside out, trust me you must go, kids optional.

A busy and fun week as ever.

Hope you have a great weekend.

Jill x

 

Our First Summer Intern

Today’s post introduces a special person on our journey - our first Summer intern!

Everyone, meet Jenny Martin (20) from Kircubbin/Newtownards! She is studying Communication, Advertising and Marketing at the University of Ulster.

We’re really glad to have Jenny on board as things heat up around Just Live a Little HQ with meetings, tasting events and stockist visits happening all across the country.

We asked Jenny a little bit about why she came to work with us and what she hopes to learn:

Why I chose Just Live a Little to work with: 

I felt it was a business that could provide me with the practical skills and knowledge for my chosen career. Just Live a Little really attracted me because, having researched it, I quickly realised that it was a very young, dynamic company that would go from strength to strength and I also believe it will be an exciting place to work.

What I hope to learn from my time with them: 

I hope Just Live a Little will give me a realistic view of the world of Marketing and what it involves. I feel that Jill and David will give me an insight into the kinds of skills and qualities I need to develop to become successful in the Marketing sector.

My Favourite Just Live a Little product: 

My favourite would have to be the Whole Almond granola, I eat it every morning for breakfast.

If I could invent a new granola flavour combination it would be: 

Banana, nuts and chocolate chip!

We hope you enjoyed meeting Jenny and look out for her across the country this summer.

Thanks for stopping by.

Jill x

Hello and welcome to the first blog post from Just Live a Little.....

My name is Jill and I am one half of the Just Live a Little team.  This is my first ever blog post and I’m so excited to share our journey as we reflect on the past 18 months and look forward to a fun-filled adventure featuring our very lovely granola products. All the blogs will be written by me so you can expect to get a peek behind the scenes, exclusive granola-based recipes, pairings and an insight into the life of a working mum balancing school runs with supplier meetings!

As this is the first blog post we thought it would be a good opportunity to introduce ourselves and tell you a little bit more about the family behind the Just Live a Little brand.

 Meet the team…..

 Jill -  I am the co –founder and sales and marketing director at Just Live a Little.  I am a Northern Ireland girl living in Portaferry. I am married to David and together we have two children Ollie 6 and Mya 4. I’m generally into good food, well being (trying to give up a diet coke habit) and being by the seaside as much as possible. I like to enjoy the great outdoors and my perfect way to spend a day would be to enjoy a long walk on the beach followed by a picnic with friends and family.

David my husband and co-founder spends his time sourcing ingredients and coming up with new recipe ideas for the Just Live a Little range.  David loves Ulster rugby and planning our seaside trips here and abroad. 

Ollie 6  - is full of energy and loves playing football, tennis, swimming and all things outdoors.

May 4 - is always trying to keep up with her brother and one very independent young lady..I don't know where she gets it from!

We hope you enjoyed a little sneak peek behind the scenes here at the Farmhouse. We would love to hear your feedback and your ideas for the kinds of things you would like to find here on our website. 

Thanks for stopping by,

Jill x